Fall 2023, Volume 35

Poetry by Brian Beatty

Dog. Bear. Man.

He moved from one town
to the next, meeting strangers
without names at first.

New places and people always
reminded him of that time
in a national park 

out west when his dog
started barking himself insane
then a bear appeared

up ahead in the middle
of the hiking trail.
Dog. Bear. Man. 

At that moment  
none of them
had a name.


from car keys

to [                    ]

to the living,


you’ve looked

for all your adult life

might be hidden
in plain sight.

The Lesser Machinery of Fate in Southern Indiana

What at first I mistook
for a hawk

afloat on
an air current

above a golden ocean
of field corn

awaiting harvest
turned out to be

the lesser machinery
of the farmer’s  

giant drone with its swiveling,
zooming video camera lens

I’d been so sure
just moments earlier

was a doomed mouse or rat.




BIO: Brian Beatty is the author of five poetry collections: Magpies and Crows; Borrowed Trouble; Dust and Stars: Miniatures; Brazil, Indiana: A Folk Poem; and Coyotes I Couldn’t See. Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Appalachian Journal, Conduit, Cowboy Jamboree, CutBank, Evergreen Review, Exquisite Corpse, Floyd County Moonshine, Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, The Missouri Review, The Quarterly, Rattle, RHINO, Seventeen, The Southern Review and Sycamore Review.